COMPETITION WATCH: Acquisition opportunities abundant, Contrans’ Dunford says

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WOODSTOCK, Ont. — Contrans says its acquisition-driven growth strategy is paying off and more opportunities exist to expand and diversify.

“The prospects for continued growth are good,” said Contrans CEO and chairman, Stan Dunford when announcing the company’s first quarter results. “We have been receiving more interest from trucking entities interested in selling their businesses for a variety of reasons. In many cases, successful owner-managers have reached the age at which they wish to retire and their only practical succession plan is to sell to a third party. With few buyers in the market and armed with a strong balance sheet, Contrans is well positioned to continue to act upon suitable acquisition opportunities. Management is continuing to assess all opportunities in a disciplined manner.”

Contrans acquired two companies in the first quarter of 2012, which Dunford says “have added to our top line and have further added to the diversity of Contrans’ customer mix.”

The company posted first quarter net earnings of $5.3 million, up from $3.5 million a year ago.

Dunford said increased demand from customers has contributed to revenue growth and improved equipment utilization and that Contrans’ Q1 performance was closer to the record levels achieved prior to the recession.

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